How to Cope with Setbacks

We all have it in life sometimes, don’t we? An idea, a plan, something that we hope for, and we try to attain it. Sometimes things get thrown in our path though that might get in the way. And sometimes those things seem so big that we wonder if we can even continue on the path.

With the little setbacks, we move past it, look back and wonder why we stressed so hard over it. But then you get those big giant setbacks, and they can rattle us.

Sometimes they have us questioning the universe, and they feel like we’re stopped in our tracks. However, they don’t have to stop us in our tracks.

From the Left Field setback
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We have big, crazy lives ahead of us, and when we hit a setback we’ve gotta take stock, and keep on pushing. But how? Well, aside from copious amounts of wine and a good stamping of the feet:

  • Acknowledge it. It’s shit, often times it doesn’t seem fair, but it’s here. Call the elephant in the room. It’s ok to feel sad and angry about a setback. We’re so trained to think these emotions are ‘bad’ and we shouldn’t feel such things, but heck yes we feel these things when we’ve had a setback.
  • Reframe it. A setback isn’t always the end. It can just mean we need to re-think our path.
  • Is there an alternative? Another way to push forward? We’ve allowed ourselves to feel sad and angry, now we need to allow ourselves to move past that and look at things in a different light.
  • Bring yourself to the here and now. Often setbacks have us living in the past or living in the future that we had in our head. What’s in your right now? Just focus on the immediate in this moment, in order to regroup.
  • Accept it is what it is. It’s not about assigning blame, wondering ‘what if’ or taking the fall yourself, sometimes shit happens. It sucks, but it’s true. It doesn’t have to define you.
  • Talk it out. Get that setback out there. Often we try and bury our setbacks, or hide them away. We feel embarrassed or ashamed that we haven’t attained the thing we’ve set out to attain. But the more we push our disappointment down, the more it banks up, only to come back and haunt us in.
  • Pause to catch your breath. A setback can seem insurmountable sometimes, and often when it immediately happens we set out guns ablazing to try and atone for it. We don’t have to sort it out yesterday. Just stop for a minute, allow yourself some time to regroup and work out the next best course of action.
  • Know that you can bounce back. Resilience is the key to setbacks. In the moment you want resilience to kiss your ass and you wonder if you can ever bounce back. But you can. And you will. We can’t have the most amazing experiences without the setbacks and the crap. It’s what makes you, you.

setback quote

Sometimes it’s helpful to write down or recall a time where you had a setback, but you found another way, and it worked out a-ok. Oh gosh, I’ve gone all rhymey now. You have permission to slap me for such woo woo.

If we can do this stuff for ourselves, then we can teach our kids to do this stuff too. These tips work just as well for children as they do for the big kids. Modelling is one of the most powerful things we can offer kids- monkey see, monkey do and all.

How do you deal with setbacks? What’s your go-to plan?

Wellness Wednesday again! Come and link up here or at Loulou Zoo. Get all zen!

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